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Gaskins: Now is the time to recruit top talent into trucking

Nov. 28, 2023
The trucking industry competes with others for America's top talent. We must ensure we do our part in recruiting the best of the next workforce generation.

I recently heard some promising news. A study from CloudTrucks found that Americans have a favorable opinion of people in trucking, and some even have a basic understanding of the trucking industry.

Trucking is so vital to the American economy, so I was pleased to see this information. The American Trucking Associations says trucking moves 72.6% of the nation’s freight by weight.

I am also pleased because the trucking industry has greatly reduced its environmental impact. According to the Engine Technology Forum, 57% of Class 3 to 8 trucks today have 2010 or later aftertreatment systems. This means trucks on the road today emit substantially less emissions than older trucks. In addition, some fleets are already beginning the journey to zero-emission goods movement by looking into alternative fuel powertrains such as battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, renewable diesel, compressed natural gas, and others.

See also: How regulations affect the EV transition

The industry has also done a lot of work to make trucks safe. A large number of fleets are investing in advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning systems.

The face of trucking has also changed, with more women and people of color joining the ranks. The 2023 Women in Trucking WIT Index states that women make up 7.5% of technicians and 12.5% of drivers, as well as 31.6% of C-suite executives and 36.9% of company leaders.

Trucking is also doing good things in the community. Truckers Against Trafficking is one example. The group trains drivers to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. Reports by drivers have resulted in countless arrests and the recovery of victims across the country.

I’ve been in the transportation field for more than 30 years and am very proud of our industry. As with all industries, our industry competes for top talent, and we all need to do our part in recruiting the next generation of workers. In 2022, 8.4 million people were employed in trucking-related jobs, according to ATA.

Seeing that more than half of the people outside of trucking have a favorable view of the industry makes me feel good. Now, we need to go out there and show the other half all the positive things about trucking.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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